Shepherd's Derelict, front cover of book

Why Do I Sing?

Animals sing for all kinds of reasons and make all kinds of sounds in the process. The spotted owl sings at night, high above the treetops. A honeybee’s buzzing is the sound of summer. And the low voices of fin whales broadcast in the blue Pacific Ocean. In a rhythmic cadence, this richly illustrated celebration of animal calls and noises surveys the region from summit to field to ocean to backyard. The world is alive with song! Why Do I Sing? possesses a beautiful cadence for reading aloud, as it invites us to consider all of the voices.

Sasquatch Books

Jennifer Blomgren


The New York Times

Humans aren’t the only creatures with the urge to sing. Blomgren describes the wild songs of marmots, fin whales, meadowlarks, loons and others, imagining what might compel them. Of the starfish, she writes delicately: “They just might be singing a song we can’t know. / We don’t see or hear the world the same way / As so many living things near us each day.” Gabriel’s big, rough-textured watercolors give a good sense of the particular beauty of the region.

School Library Journal

…the lovely scenes and animal portraits will be much enjoyed by those young children who like to talk their way through picture books. Gabriel’s luscious pastel work on heavily textured paper will surely invite touching and some lingering viewing.

Kirkus Reviews

Gabriel’s handsome, atmospheric watercolor paintings on textured paper capture scenic panoramas or zoom in to render animals larger than life, from honeybee to meadowlark.

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